ATLANTA, Sept. 29 As a result of a 2004 petition from theBeverage Institute for Health & Wellness (hereafter the Institute) of TheCoca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)announced today that it has amended its osteoporosis risk reduction healthclaim to reflect the importance of vitamin D, in combination with calcium, inpromoting long-term bone health. The amended rule also includes a broaderdefinition of the populations that could benefit from consuming calcium andvitamin D to include both men and women of all ages and races.
The amended labeling regulation explains that vitamin D is required forthe normal absorption of calcium, and authorizes the health claim: "Adequatecalcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, mayreduce the risk of osteoporosis."
"Osteoporosis is a growing public health crisis, and all Americans, menand women alike, will benefit from knowing that vitamin D along with calciumcan help delay or prevent the onset of this disease," said Robert P. HeaneyMD, FACP, John A. Creighton University Professor and Professor of Medicine atCreighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. "Along with weight-bearing exercise,the most valuable intervention for maintaining bone health is an overallhealthful diet that supplies adequate amounts of all nutrients such as vitaminD."
The US National Osteoporosis Foundation predicts that by 2010, about 12million people over the age of 50 will have osteoporosis and another 40million will have low bone mass. These numbers are expected to continueclimbing. To help address this significant public health issue, the FDAdeveloped this health claim for manufacturers to include on labels ofappropriate foods and dietary supplements. The new labeling can helpconsumers identify products with adequate calcium and Vitamin D that can helpto reduce their risk of osteoporosis.
Increasing Awareness and Consumption of Vitamin D
"We initiated this petition because we believe consumers will benefit fromefforts to increase awareness of the link between calcium and vitamin D andbone health," said Dr. Rhona Applebaum, Vice President and Chief Scientificand Regulatory Officer for The Coca-Cola Company. "Revising the osteoporosisrisk reduction health claim to include both vitamin D and calcium will helpthe food industry communicate the importance of these nutrients to consumers."
According to Carolyn E. Moore, PhD, RD, Principal Scientist with The Coca-Cola Company's Institute, studies sponsored by the Institute at the BostonUniversity Medical Center and ENVIRON Health Sciences, demonstrated that manyconsumers are not getting enough Vitamin D from food and dietary supplements.The groups at greatest risk in the US include teenage girls, women, theelderly, and African-American and Mexican-American adults.
It was The Coca-Cola Company who sought approval to add vitamin D tocalcium-fortified juices and juice drinks from the FDA, through research theCompany sponsored at the Vitamin D and Bone Health Research Laboratory atBoston University Medical School. Results from this research demonstratedthat vitamin D is readily absorbed by the body when added to skim milk and
orange juice. The FDA approved the addition of vitamin D to calcium-fortifiedjuices in 2003.
The Importance of Vitamin D for Strong Bones
Vitamin D requirements of all age groups can be met under conditions ofadequate exposure to sunlight. However, several factors can reduce theproduction of vitamin D from the skin including the use of sunscreens,increased skin pigmentation, normal aging, and insufficient exposure tosunlight.
The primary function of Vitamin D is to aid in the body's absorption ofcalcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Without Vitamin D, thebody absorbs 10 - 15 percent of calcium consumed in the diet. With Vitamin D,the absorption level increases to 30 - 50 percent.
Emerging Research on Vitamin D
Vitamin D has been the subject of extensive basic and clinical research inthe past several years, which has generated valuable insights about this vitalnutrient.
-- In a recent study supported in part by the Institute, researchers fromBoston University School of Medicine found that vitamin D2 (found naturally inplants) is equally as effective as vitamin D3 (produced as a result of sunexposure and found in some food sources such as cod liver oil and oily fish)in maintaining circulating blood levels of vitamin D.
-- With support from the National Institutes of Health and the Institute,the United States Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Data Laboratory is inthe process of conducting an updated analysis of vitamin D content in a widerange of whole and processed foods, including, for the first time, specificforms of vitamin D, i.e., D2 and D3.
About the Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness
The Institute supports research and educational outreach, with a primaryfocus on beverage nutrition and science. The Institute is responsible forclinical research programs related to existing brands and the development ofinnovative new beverages for The Coca-Cola Company. The Institute's team ofphysicians, PhD-level nutrition scientists and registered dietitians alsoserve as a resource for health professionals and others interested in thescience of beverages and their role in health and living well. For moreinformation, visit www.beverageinstitute.org.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshingconsumers with more than 450 sparkling and still brands. Along withCoca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company'sportfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta,Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid and GeorgiaCoffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juicesand juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world'slargest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countriesenjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With anenduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company isfocused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources andenhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Formore information about our Company, please visit our website atwww.thecoca-colacompany.com."Minute Maid" is a registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company Contact: Nancy Davis The Coca-Cola Company, 404-676-2683 [email protected]
SOURCE The Coca-Cola Company